Tuesday, 29 November 2016

last days of November at Maple Lodge

Well it was a sharp frost this morning ,on arrival at the reserve I found the lake almost frozen over,so  I walked through the Paddock towards Lynsters Farm where good numbers of Stock Doves obliged.
These were feeding amongst the grazing Greylags,moving on to the hides a few Grey Herons hunted the shallows.
Returning along Long Hedge I noted a splendid Goldfinch feeding on Teazel.
Made my way back to the club house where dunnocks ,blackbirds etc fed under the feeders.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Autumn day at Stockers Lake

Autumn days at Stockers Lake are special,blue skys lead to clear nights and of course sunshine. Here I searched diligently for wildfowl to be precise the
Goldeneye, at the viewpoint  I am  lucky to see a nice pair.
Also good numbers of Wigeon as they whistle down the wind on a circular walk of the lake.
My walk ends at Bury Lake where some blue tits in the Silver Birch trees
near the Yacht club.
Well its time for tea now and I'm sitting next to  Jack Mann.
Jack was one of Churchills secret warriors he is 91 years young and still going strong.
It was an honour and a privelige Sir.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Moor Park and its birds on a cold sunny day late Autumn

Its not even light and the Jackdaws are in abundance along the Chestnut drive on route to the Mansion.
As day breaks Cormorants fly high overhead while distant Canadian geese are heard,the regular Egyptian geese have gone awol.
Small flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare cackle and twitter,on the pond a good number of Mallard and one lonely Moorhen.
The highlights of today were two Red Kite a Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Paddy at the Colusseum Watford

Well I was lucky to be invited for Paddy a musical drama at the town hall where I spent a few St Patrick nights with heather in my buttonhole.
This musical drama on Irish emigration was a joy to behold for sure,most of us there had some Irish descent and the play brought it home.The play is set in the sixties when we were playing football and drinking in North West London mostly with Irish family's who were struggling to make ends meet.
This emotional tale of Padddy's trials and tribulations was worthy of the West End and Broadway ,God bless you all.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Manningford in the vale of Pewsey

I could almost smell Alfred's burnt cakes here in the kingdom Wessex,there was no sign of Ragnar Lothbrok's Vikings as we travelled through this pleasant land. Arriving at Manningford we tackled up and proceeded to fly fish for some Rainbows, the stream nearby held Brown trout and Grayling a harder prospect to catch. After a few hours I caught my quota.
Later I noted a pair of splendid Kingfishers as I walked the  river only a few chattering Fieldfares and the mewing of the Buzzard.

Friday, 18 November 2016

In pursuit of Esox Luscius

Today around 0800hrs Danny Gomm picked me up to go fishing .Pike fishing that is we set off for Inns lake right next door to Stockers bordering the River Colne.
It was a bit fresh a few coot and duck on the lack ,we were using deadbaits and soon a pike was showing interest in Danny's float or should l say bait. Nothing happened we were distracted by a Muncjac trying to get through the fence on to Springwell lane,however it did a u turn and swam  the whole length of the lake to the River Colne.
Danny got a phone shot of this unexpected event.We carried on fishing with no luck until we brought the lure rod in to action and I managed a 5lb fish on the far side of the lake.
A great day out as not been piking for a while thanks to Danny

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Scrape

Heres the new scrape lets hope it improves the quality of sightings we deserve.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Afternoon surprise at Maple Lodge

well an afternoon stroll in autumnal sunshine to the lodge where Lewis gave me the heads up on what's about was enlightening.From Rotunda a green sandpiper and next door at the Double Decker a  shock .At last a scrape something for the members by the members and contractors well done to all.
Forty Wigeon on Lynsters farm ended the day.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Woodoaks Farm

A walk to the farm after the frost had melted was ideal ,met Chris had a chat told him I clocked fifty lapwing on the field then chatted about the gooners and spurs for a bit.  I then walked towards the dung heap and a dozen skylark took off. In the distance I saw a Stonechat which I stalked and got a few photos.
Walked back towards the old orchard where I noticed a buzzard thought it might have been Rough legged didn't get the white rump,heres a pic of it.

Super dooper Whooper

Well a phone call sent me to Stockers on a cold afternoon,so cold pauls phone died after the call.I made my way to the preachers pulpit dragging another birder with me .As we arrived all I got was the rear end of a Whooper disappearing in to the islands.Paul was sceptical thought they might have been Bewicks.However they appeared further down the lake
So we dashed to the causeway to find 8 Whooper swans all adults.
We rang all and sundry Joan Thomson arrived as did Lee Evans a good county record for all

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Minsmere day trip

My old mate Dave Cole picked me up around 0700 hrs and we set off for Suffolk.Three hours later we arrived Dave don't do sat nav.
On arrival made our way through the bushes towards the beach ,colder sunny and a bit windy a few lingering swallows obliged.
From the beach noted a single Gannet,before arriving at the Scrape where some splendid Black tailed Godwits obliged.
Also here a variety of duck,we missed snow bunting at the Sluice,but arrived at the West Scrape noting a few Grey Plover and Redshank.
Outside the hide on mounds of earth a Stonechat obliged.
Moving on to the Bittern and Island Mere hide several Marsh Harriers entertained us sporadically ,we missed the Otter by 10 minutes .
Although two female deer did not escape us as they grazed between the Phragmites.
Disappointngly we also missed a Waxwing due to member of staffs incompetence,all it took was one word as he dashed past us,fortunately his female counterpart cried waxwing 5 mins later ,it was only few yards away we missed it by seconds.
A lovely autumnal day was not over as a chilli jacket served for lunch at Minsmere caused an unavoidable stop as I was crippled up with abdominal pain .Thanks for the experience.